Not just a Matter of Taste – Disgust in the Food Domain
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Higher competition in the market arena is forcing marketers and product developers to monitor and adjust the impact of their product in the marketplace more rapidly. Furthermore, in rapidly changing markets it is not sufficient to only consider utilitarian aspects of consumption, but also to examine the more hedonic or aesthetic aspects. Marketing success is largely determined to the extent that consumers are having a positive emotional experience, and when unappealing attributes and cues that can motivate negative feelings such as disgust are minimised. Being the ultimate consumable products, food and eating represent a highly relevant arena for subjectivity and emotional response during consumption. Meat and meat products are particularly vulnerable products with respect to negative product emotions, in as much as food from animal origin and negative product emotions like disgust seem to be closely related. This thesis focuses on the negative product emotion of disgust generated by meat and meat consumption experiences. This research intends to increase the knowledge about the antecedents of disgust, in order for managers in the meat industries to be able to tailor the presentation, communication and product development of animal derived foods for critical and sensitive consumer segments. The overall research objective of this dissertation has been to gain insight into the negative product emotion of disgust targeted to meat, with emphasis on the nature of the stimuli attributes, the personal influences and individual differences in emotional response. The approach resulted in four cross sectional studies in the Norwegian population. Hypothesis has been developed and overall, we have found general support for the proposed hypotheses.
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